The 'New' Here and Now
What a year these past two weeks have been! Unreal, right? Coronavirus has infiltrated our lives in every aspect forcing us to create a new ‘normal’. It’s scary, it’s chaotic, it’s stressful, and it’s not going away anytime soon. As a wife and a stay at home mom, I have the privilege of not working outside the home. I get to be there for my children all day every day and my job is to raise my girls, be there for my husband, and keep our home up and running smoothly.
I love being an online ESL teacher because it allows me extra income without leaving my home. All of my teaching is done first thing in the morning so nothing interferes with my duties as a wife and momma...until coronavirus hit.
Sending my kids off to school so I can have a peaceful, quiet, mess-free house….GONE.
Seeing my husband drive off to work and waive to the girls every morning...NOPE. He’s here full time now.
Y’all...this has been tough. I say that while cringing because my whole family is healthy, Craig and I both have our jobs and they aren’t in jeopardy anytime soon… but the selfish part of me is mourning the loss of my space, my quiet time, my ability to control the house and the flow of every day.
I have two daughters: Lauren, who is 8, and Elizabeth, who is 14. They are amazing and I am very thankful that they are loving, helpful, and respectful sweetie pies. I love them dearly. I love my husband dearly, but adjusting to having everyone in the house at all times has darn near killed me.
Leave me alone. I need my space. Clean up your mess. Yes, this is what we are having for dinner. No, these aren’t honey glazed carrots...they are regular carrots to go with the homemade chicken and dumplings that I made from scratch dinner. I’m going to need you to take a bath and not argue with me. Yes, you need to brush your teeth today even though we aren’t going anywhere. This is the third day in a row that you’ve worn the same pajamas...please change into clothes. No, I do not want to watch Frozen 2. I don’t want to watch Frozen ...or anything else on the Disney App! I don’t want to watch a family movie (I can’t believe I’m sharing that). I know...I’m selfish.
I have new duties: cook 7 days a week instead of 4. I used to make dinners Monday-Thursday and after that, the kitchen is closed and we go to restaurants all weekend. Whaaaaaaa!
Grocery shopping is now an expedition: mask, gloves, shop, unload, sanitize everything, put away, and sanitize all surfaces that my gloved hands came into contact with. Whaaaaaaaa!
Our pantry is loaded with gummy vitamins, zinc, Zicam, probiotics, and peanut butter along with paper napkins that I am carefully rationing in case I can’t find more.
Shopping for cleaning products and toilet paper and actually finding them is a HUGE thing for me! I find myself telling my husband proudly that I found the last package of Charmin at Target to which I’m offered a blank stare and a “good for you”. I know you hear me saying that I got the last rolls of toilet paper but do you know what an accomplishment that is?! I need more praise, please! Whaaaaaa!
I’m tired, I’m anxious, I’ve got the munchies all the time, and everyone is in my space.
Here is my silver lining and it ties together so beautifully with ZebraEnglish. My most important newly acquired role is to teach Lauren her online school. I am SO thankful I am an online ESL teacher because I’ve been able to pick up the online content so much easier than other parents in the community. I’ve been able to share what works for me in my ESL classes with parents who have elementary-aged students. All of those little tricks to help keep our students engaged...I’ve already got them built in my back pocket and they are like second nature to me.
Lauren and I are having a blast with online school. I’ve had quality time with her that I’ve never had before. It’s ‘our’ time to be together...just mommy and daughter...laughing, learning, and getting it done. I hear stories from frustrated parents about not being able to help their kids with the websites and the content and my heart goes out to them. I’ve been blessed with the tools given to me through online ESL teaching and I’m so thankful.
Lastly, I have had time to grow my online friendships with ZebraEnglish teachers. I am forever thankful that I have the chance to get to know these amazing teachers for who they are, both inside the classroom and out. I’ve been given time to be able to be active in teacher Facebook groups and to be able to learn from others. We all have our stories, we all have our good and bad days, and we are all in this together. Get to know your teachers in this wonderful community. I look forward to learning about you and I can’t wait to get to know you. I can’t wait to hear about your classes and what works for you.
Anxious, fearful, stressed: yes. Thankful, grateful, blessed: absolutely. Funny how we can have all of those feelings at the same time. Love and belief, Teacher Sus